We'll follow the GM meetings and as always, we'll continue to update as more information is made available. The feeling among some insiders is that this offseason will be one of the most trade heavy offseasons in recent memory. The cost of free agents seems to be going through the roof and, in many cases, it's going to cost teams a draft pick. That may be enough of a deterrent to force teams to become a bit more creative as far as making additions to their teams.
- Jesse Rogers has some good stuff at ESPN Chicago. Hoyer acknowledged that he expects teams to call about Jeff Samardzija, “Teams know we’ve had discussions with him and we haven’t signed him,” Hoyer said Monday. “That’s part of it. I think teams will certainly inquire about him,” Hoyer said. “He’s really proved over the last two years he has great stuff and is a tough competitor. I think teams will ask us about him so to that extent there could be rumors. I think Jeff has a perfect mentality for that. I think he doesn’t pay attention to it. It’s somewhat the nature of being in a big market.”
- The Cubs are looking for veteran leadership. Hoyer said, "“We know we need more player leadership,” Hoyer said. “I think it’s unfair to put all the leadership aspects on the manager and the coaching staff. We’ve traded a lot of those guys away. We know that and so I do think we need to replenish that.”
- Patrick Mooney confirms that the Cubs indeed will be in on Masahiro Tanaka but he considers that possibility a long shot -- if for no other reason that the stakes are high and there will be some win-now, big spending teams involved in the chase.
- Rogers also mentions that the Cubs will announce their coaching staff soon and probably all at once. One guy we can expect not to be part of the staff at this point is Mariano Duncan. At the On Deck 14 presentation, Epstein emphasized how some coaches work better with 18-19 year olds while others work better with MLB players. It's a different skill set. Hoyer added to that by saying that the hitting coach will come from outside the organization. One name being brought up is Bill Mueller, an ex-Cubs and Red Sox player who once won a batting title. Mueller had a very good approach at the plate.
- The Tribune article also mentions minor league instructors Gary Jones (Padres) and Bruce Fields (Tigers) are candidates to become base coaches. Interesting that both candidates have experience teaching minor league players.
- The Diamondbacks are known to be interested in Jeff Samardzija and they are looking at power hitting outfielders as well. Nick Piecoro mentions the D'Backs may also be interested in Nate Schierholtz.
- In other news around the league with possible Cubs ramifications, the Twins have shown interest in catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia, the Mets are interested in Chris Young, and the Yankees have put Shin-Soo Choo at the top of their outfielder list.
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